Tuesday 17 July 2018

TV restaurant boss in struggle to bring children to Ireland

A CHINESE restaurant owner is fighting to have her children live in Ireland.

Betty Wu, who owns Wings restaurant in Dublin's O'Connell Street, has missed most of her two daughters' childhoods because their visa applications to live here were refused.

The business owner and her husband will return to China in October when their visas expire.

They hope to return to Ireland next February with daughters Yan (7) and Yun Ting (5) who are being cared for by their grandparents in the Chinese province of Fujian.

Their burger restaurant, which featured on RTE documentary The Street, has struggled since opening in April.

Ms Wu said she and her husband, Xiaochun Chen, who helps run the business, have yet to make a profit.

"It's been a very hard time, we have a good few people but it's never busy," she said.

A requirement for applying for the Stamp Four (an individual's immigration status in Ireland) is that the applicant must prove they can provide for their family.

Ms Wu said they need their restaurant to do well in order to show they can raise their children without help from the Government.


The businesswoman, who moved to Dublin 10 years ago, hopes her restaurant will pick up after appearing in the documentary.

"Being on the telly all over Ireland, that will help us," she said.

"People will get to know us and recognise us, so I think it will get better."

Ms Wu's husband owned an internet cafe for six years before it had to close to make space for the new TK Maxx in the Ilac Centre.

Now the couple split their time between Wings in Dublin and their other restaurant, the Golden House, in Trim, Co Meath.

Ms Wu said she misses her daughters, but she doesn't want to move to China.

"Sometimes our parents ask us to come home, but we say no. We like life here," she said.

"Now we eat things like cheese, butter and mayonnaise, not just Chinese."

Despite one incident when a drunken man started shouting in the restaurant, Ms Wu said she feels safe here, particularly because they are located next to a garda station.


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